Carrick’s Brewery Lane Theatre introduced their newest director, Enda O’Driscoll, in style with Weekend Supper Theatre. Here we have a small but vital theatre group who understand the role food plays in modern entertainment and at Brewery Lane there was always a cuppa and choice of biscuits at all their productions.
This time, the meal was served first and the catering by Fergus Power and Annamaria Deehy of CafŽ West, The West Gate, was first class and the refurbished reception area is a credit to the hardworking, ambitious theatre-folk there.
Any theatre group who has such a luminary as Peg Power greeting patrons with a lamp to light their way, is a company rich indeed in class and the very fabric and stuff of theatre.
Enda O’Driscoll’s choice of play was a full length work by Athol Fugard, the South African playwright, about a Russian World War II deserter who lived for forty years in a pig sty, hence the title, A Place With The Pigs. And this was a play without interval that put a huge task on the two actors on stage most of the time.
The play explores favourite themes of Fugard – alienation, sense of place and dislocation and also a sense of humanity and happiness. David Grant as Pavel, the soldier, coped well with a most dislikable character, who reeks of despair and ugly self-pity. He was so good in the portrayal that I wanted the wife to leave him or feed him to the pigs. The pigs represent the uncaring feral world that Pavel hides from and there is the irony that he is as awful as the pigs in so many ways.
Ann Howard as the long-suffering wife, Praskovya, amazed me with her skill and range of emotions and she was a fragrant theatrical rose in a sometimes unsatisfactory play.
An additional touch of directorial style was given by the use of American poet, Richard Tillinghast reading a few Akmatova poems, as an opening coda to the play.